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June 24, 2024

Mini-Learnings from Suncoast Remake Learning Days

Alexa Carr, TPF Fellow 2023/24

It is so easy to look at data and not really picture the magnitude of it; for me, that was the case with Suncoast Remake Learning Days (SRLDs). Leading up to SLRDs, I knew we were working with 277 community partners on 304 events. It is easy to just think—wow, that’s a lot—then move on. Well, at least until you see it in action. Then, it’s unforgettable. Suncoast Remake Learning Days were such a powerful example of how many amazing things can be accomplished when people come together. It was impressive and impactful to see community and families come together, new partnerships flourish, and kids finding new interests and passions.

In its third year, Suncoast Remake Learning Days 2024 set a new record for participation, with 36,500 residents attending one of its 304 events. Compare this to the first year, which had 10,000 participants in 2022, and the 2023 festival, which drew 25,000. I was lucky enough to attend many of these events and see even more of them through pictures and videos. No two events I attended were the same, and I, as an adult, truly enjoyed and learned something at each. So, I thought I could share just a few experiences from SRLDs 2024:

The first event I attended was a collaboration between the Sarasota Children’s Museum and the Margwine Organization, Inc. From the moment I walked in, the atmosphere was filled with learning, wonder, and curiosity. Children were learning how to do cyanotype printing, making tie-dye creations, learning about ladybugs, exploring circuits, and so much more. The activities fully entranced each kid, their family, and me.

At Wilkinson Elementary, I had the joy of attending their event, We Speak for the Trees – Let Them Grow! Celebrate Earth Day. Their Everglades Club ran one of the booths. An elementary student showed me how you could not only tell how old a tree is by its ring, but also the environmental conditions of that year. There were also opportunities for families to build and play their own literacy games. A perfect blend of art, science, and reading!

At Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, in partnership with USF Sarasota-Manatee, nearly 100 families engaged in hands-on learning both inside and outside the classroom—literally, in the bay! Families had the opportunity to explore biodiversity firsthand by wading into the bay with nets, where they discovered shells, crabs, fish, and even a starfish. Back in the labs, they examined water samples to explore biodiversity on a microscopic level. Additionally, they learned about pollution and the importance of protecting the oceans.

I could share for days about all of SRLDs wonders, but as I said earlier, it’s magical to experience! Also, I believe that there is something for every interest. Make sure to stay tuned about Suncoast Remake Learning Days 2025 and be a part of the action, learning, and joy!


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